Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ACLU Banning Speech and Banning Books

The New York Times reports that the American Civil Liberties Union is proposing new standards that would gag its board members and stop them from publicly criticizing aspects of the organization:

Given the organization's longtime commitment to defending free speech, some former board members were shocked by the proposals.

Nat Hentoff, a writer and former A.C.L.U. board member, was incredulous. "You sure that didn't come out of Dick Cheney's office?" he asked.

"For the national board to consider promulgating a gag order on its members — I can't think of anything more contrary to the reason the A.C.L.U. exists," Mr. Hentoff added.

On the other hand, this new proposal is in line with its policy of suing to ban books, if the content is not to its liking, which I discussed here. Presumably the new policy would ban speech that criticizes its decision to sue to ban books.

A previous post about the ACLU and one of its fund-raising letters is here, which also has a link to a humorous cartoon. By the way, fund-raising is noted as one of the reasons for the ACLU's new policy on speech by board members. Funny how money affects policy.


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